Reception for outstanding Queensland contributors
Brisbane City Councillor Matthew Bourke; Defence Force chiefs; Directors-General and Commissioners; representatives from our churches; members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps; ladies and gentlemen.
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House this afternoon.
It is an honour to have you here today, as we acknowledge outstanding contributions from outstanding people to a most outstanding State!
As diverse as your backgrounds may be, each of you in your own unique way has demonstrated what it means to be an exemplary Queenslander of noble service to all.
Queensland spirit helps us overcome challenges of the magnitude that our State is facing at the moment.
As we are all aware, the city of Townsville and surrounding areas recently received unprecedented levels of rain.
Rising flood levels forced thousands of residents to abandon their homes.
The scale of this disaster is hard to comprehend, and I take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathy and unwavering support to our fellow Queenslanders who have been so badly affected, not only in Townsville, but west to communities like Julia Creek, where drought gave way to widespread floods.
While flood relief efforts continue in earnest, the State’s drought is far from over, and our pastoralists and producers remain in our thoughts.
Indeed, I speak for all Queenslanders when I say the efforts of those in our regional, remote and rural communities are deeply appreciated.
I also express my sincere gratitude to the emergency workers, defence personnel, local authorities, volunteers and others who have been working so tirelessly to help those in need.
Already this year I have been fortunate to meet many of these men and women in person, undertaking four visits to regional centres, including communities in Mackay and Bundaberg.
These communities were last year impacted by extreme weather of a different kind, the bushfires of November and December, and their strength is unshakable – standing united in the face of adversity, rolling up their sleeves, lending their support.
In coming weeks I will return to the Townsville region to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing those communities, continuing my commitment as a Governor for all Queenslanders.
Last year I visited 42 regional centres, meeting hundreds of people, and sharing in their spirit and sense of community – a set of values which remain typical to Queensland.
We are resilient. We are optimistic. Above all, we are compassionate.
Regardless of where you come from or what your goal may be, together we contribute to the shared success of our community.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is often said that our greatest asset is our people. I could not agree more.
People like all of you joining us at Fernberg today – driven, talented and committed men and women sharing this wonderful space, all with at least one thing in common – love for our great State.
Kaye and I thank you all most wholeheartedly for the marvellous contributions you have made, and indeed continue to make, for the betterment of the State of Queensland.
Please enjoy the hospitality of Government House, as we celebrate your many successes.